The Delta variant and the specter of a fourth Covid wave affect holidays and the expectations of a recovery in the tourism market. In Italy but not only. A first signal, which very little follows the warning of the Farnesina, which advised against Italians who wished to travel abroad, as well as the imminent rumors of restrictions within friendly walls. According to Fiavet, the Italian Federation of Travel and Tourism Business Associations, in the last week there was a 50% drop in booking requests both for abroad and for Italy.
Fiavet: bookings collapse, cancellation boom also for Italy
The number of Italians who had decided to take holidays across the border was already small, compared to the pre-pandemic period: it is, according to the Federation’s data, 15% of bookings. But now there has been a sharp slowdown in requests, accompanied by a wave of cancellations, both for domestic destinations and for those outside national borders.
“The notice issued by the Farnesina on the risks of traveling abroad immediately generated great concern and caused a sharp slowdown in requests this week”, explains Ivana Jelinic, national president of Fiavet. (“Taking into account that in these days the Italians are deciding the departure of the next 3-4 weeks – says Jelinic – we have already seen a collapse in demand in the last few days and people have decided not to confirm and to wait. compared to the previous week, therefore until Monday 12 July, already 50% fewer requests for bookings both for Italy and abroad. This is assisted by a rise of cancellation requests because someone, caught out of fears, he even preferred to cancel, and these are cancellations also for the central weeks of August “.
According to the president Fiavet, “the element that begins to worry and that arouses great concern is precisely the cancellations: on the one hand because of what is happening abroad, on the other because the hypotheses of making some Regions become yellow and the fact that the alert is being raised is frightening people who prefer to give up on holidays. “
“This is confirmed to be a last minute summer, in which a decision is made based on the situation. For those who have not already left and do not have an imminent departure in the next few days – observes Jelinic – this is the time to decide. there are more advance bookings as happened in the past, it is reduced to the last minute “.
The most popular destinations, he explains, “are Greece, Spain, Croatia and Malta. In Malta we have a significant number of compatriots, children, especially minors, who are doing study holidays and who are in quarantine because of positive results or direct positive contacts. . In Spain there are mainly young Italians who have chosen to travel for holidays. Many are the so-called do-it-yourself tourists who have decided to leave and finding themselves in the situation of having positive results, they have to do isolation and quarantine. However, having organized the trip for own account are not covered by the insurance and the costs are borne by them. ” The Fiavet president therefore invites Italian tourists to “strictly turn to professionals and to take out insurance”. “Today – he concludes – in 90% of cases the customer buys the optional insurance policy also because we are in high season”
Coldiretti-Istat: only 1.5 million Italians abroad
On the other hand, the numbers of Italians abroad this summer were a negative record. According to the analysis carried out by Coldiretti on ISTAT data, the number of compatriots who chose a holiday across the border this summer did not reach one and a half million. The overwhelming majority will remain in Europe, even if all this does not ease concerns, given the resumption of infections that is affecting many of the most popular destinations, with new limitations, constraints and quarantines.
Spain, Holland, Cyprus and Malta are colored red and dark red on the map of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Ecdc) on the incidence of Covid but the infections – specifies Coldiretti – have also increased in the south of France , which went yellow together with Ireland, Belgium and some areas of Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Critical issues for Italian tourists – specifies Coldiretti – are also reported in Greece and the ECDC expects a strong rebound in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks, with almost five times more cases per day by 1 August due to Delta variant and loosening of restrictions.
A difficult situation under observation by the authorities in Italy where – underlines Coldiretti – the quarantine for arrivals from England is already in force and it is being evaluated whether it will be necessary to provide it also for those arriving from Spain and Portugal or from countries at risk . The same foreign ministry – reports Coldiretti – has issued a warning on the risks of a holiday abroad, reminding all those who intend to go abroad, regardless of the destination and the reasons for the trip, to consider that any movement, in this period, may involve a “health risk” and that in the event that the test is positive for coronavirus or contacts of a positive person, the rules established by local authorities must be followed. The result is that Italians have almost entirely decided to stay within their national borders but there is even one in three Italians (33.3%) who have chosen to take a zero-kilometer holiday while remaining within their own region. “Choosing to stay within national borders is not only a prudent choice but – concludes Coldiretti – also an important contribution to supporting the economy and national employment in a sector, such as tourism, severely hit by the Covid pandemic” .
And even Mykonos abolishes the small hours
The case of Mykonos is emblematic of the trend of this summer 2021, where the hopes of the beginning of the season now seem to be behind us. The Greek island, one of the world capitals of summer nightlife, also beloved by Italians, was forced to introduce a 5-hour night curfew, to stem the “disturbing” rise in the contagion curve. From the 26th of July, in fact, the island will close completely from one in the morning to six in the morning. Among other restrictions, the one that prohibits restaurants, bars and nightclubs from broadcasting music.
“We ask the inhabitants, visitors and traders of our beautiful island to strictly observe the measures in order to quickly control the virus and return Mykonos to normal,” said the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection of Greece, Nikos Hardalias.